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Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Since the qualifying round for potential student senators ended Tuesday, the Gator and Progress parties will soon begin their three-week campaigns.

Sarah Krantz, Student Government's supervisor of elections, said qualifying ran smoothly.

Krantz said more than 500 students interviewed with the parties during the three-day process, including a total of 339 students Tuesday.

Gator and Progress had until midnight to narrow down interviewees to a final list of candidates.

The next step is a mandatory meeting for all candidates at 9 p.m. Thursday.

Candidates will be officially listed on the ballot at the meeting.

Independent candidates may attend the meeting to have their name placed on the ballot as well, she added.

Tuesday afternoon, Gator Party President Yooni Yi said her party did not have its final list of candidates ready but would run a senator for each of the 47 available Student Senate seats.

Yi said she was pleased with her party's candidate pool, describing it as "eager and energetic."

Gator Party candidates will also meet this week to contribute ideas for the party's platform, which will be released as soon as possible, she said.

Joshua Niederriter, Progress Party treasurer, said he was pleased with his candidates. Progress will run senators for 33 seats.

Though the party will not have a full list of candidates, it will run for some "very winnable" seats such as Hume, Niederriter said.

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He said Progress candidates would meet this week to contribute to the party's platform, which might be released by the weekend.

Mike Fetto, a freshman who interviewed with the Gator Party, said he heard about the party through his fraternity brothers and wanted to get involved.

The party's strong presence in the Senate was also a factor, Fetto said.

"It has the largest following, and it's the easiest way to make things happen," he said.

UF freshmen Rachel Morin and Mena Bekhit said they interviewed with the Progress Party because of the party's leadership.

"I registered because I knew [Sam Miorelli, Progress chief counsel] from high school, and I'm not Greek," Morin said.

Bekhit said running for Senate was also a good opportunity to improve his resume.

"I figured it'd look good on a pre-med application," he said.

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